Kickstarted Video Game Books You Can Buy Right Now
[dropcap]D[/dropcap]o you love video games? Of course you do, or else why would you be on Cliqist?! Since you’re visiting a gaming website then chances are you don’t only love playing games but also enjoy reading about them. Thanks to crowdfunding sites like Kickstarter and IndieGogo there’s always a new game to discover – and eventually play! Have you also seen the multiple campaigns launched for video game books? These books, despite being all different in theme, all have the same goal of honoring games. It also appears as if each one has succeeded thus far.
Such a goal is fantastic and deserves support. Thankfully, most every book-based crowdfunding campaign surrounding games has made it. There just aren’t enough books out there covering the topic of games so this niche definitely needs filling. Here you’ll find a list of all the video game books which have not only been crowdfunded but are also available to purchase today. Sure, it might be a bit too late to nab one for the holidays but they’d all be great for a little gift to yourself!
Boss Fight Books series – Purchase here
Boss Fight Books was a brand new publishing label when it launched on Kickstarter and promised a pretty heavy goal. According to the project leads, they could create five books on the following five games: Earthbound, Galaga, Jagged Alliance 2, Super Mario Bros. 2, and ZZT. This ambitious goal was definitely met – and with quite a bit of success! In fact, they’ve since gone on to raise funds for Boss Fight Books Season 2. Hungry readers can nab the current collection as an ebook, physical copy, or bundle package.
Having not yet read the entire first season of Boss Fight Books’ library, I can’t suggest that everything is a home run. However, Galaga, Super Mario Bros. 2, and ZZT are definitely some excellent reads. Each book seems to mix factual information along with the writer’s personal connection to the game in question. After all, you’ve got to expect these people really love it in order to write an entire book on the topic of one game. If you’re not sure where to start then my recommendation is ZZT by Anna Anthrophy. The entire read is fascinating and will make you want to rush out and download ZZT immediately afterwards.
Commodore 64: a visual Commpendium – Purchase here
If you’re a fan of all things Commodore then you’ve likely come across Bitmap Books’ Commodore 64 or Commodore Amiga Kickstarter campaigns. Both appear impressive, although so far only the Commodore 64 book has launched. So what exactly is Commodore 64: a visual Commpendium and why might it be worth a purchase for gamers? The allure for existing classic PC fans is obvious. This book showcases beautiful artwork from the C64 across many glossy pages. Along with images are descriptions of said games and their importance.
But why might those who never touched a Commodore anything be interested? This book provides an amazing look into the history of computer games. Many of us simply never had the funds to own one of these classic machines, while others were simply born too late. The Commpendium provides an excellent visually-focused history lesson and simply looks damn good! You can buy a physical copy, however an interactive PDF version is also available.
Every Day is Play – Purchase here
When it comes right down to it, video games are an artistic medium. However, we don’t have many people out there attempting to show respect to these creations. Every Day is Play is a 300+ page book which features a highly visual attempt to showcase the history of video games as a medium and its “culture.” Unlike some other Kickstarted video game books, this one does not simply focus on the art design of the games themselves but lets the gaming community at large interact. Tons of fan-created artwork is presented in high quality for the very first time.
Of course, there’s also a variety of things to read within Every Day is Play too. In all, you’ll discover 30 features and interviews with a mix of people. There’s no doubt that Game Paused were trying to present an attractive creation first and foremost. With some 1000 images included your eyes will be in for quite a feast. As part of the heavy visual focus it appears the book is only available in tangible hardback form. It will be available for shipping in just a few weeks, although backers received their copies already!
Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works – Purchase here
It’s safe to say that there is a huge generation of gamers out there who developed a passion for video games thanks to the Sega Genesis (or Sega Mega Drive, depending on where you lived). Admittedly, I was more of a Nintendo child, but that didn’t stop the allure of Sega’s 16-bit machine. In fact, it spurred it even more. The Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works book is a huge retrospective on every aspect of the console.
Not only are there 28 interviews with Sega staff associated with the system, there are tons of pristine images showcasing different aspects of this machine. Add-ons, console variants, and more each get paid their respects via big, gorgeous multi-page spreads. Then there are images of development documents and the like which almost no one outside of Sega would have seen before this book’s creation. In all, this is a must have book for any Genesis/Mega Drive fans out there. It’s available to interested parties worldwide in hardcover format.
Sensible Software 1986-1999 – Purchase here
Read-Only Memory are on a roll with stylish video game books. Not only are they the name behind Sega Mega Drive/Genesis: Collected Works but they also created a loving look at the developer Sensible Software with Sensible Software 1986-1999. As with their other creation, this book is a highly visual read. You’ll find glossy pages with incredibly bright pixel art spread across the entire width. Sensible Software definitely deserves this honor as many out there (including myself) find their artwork to be distinctive, as well as super crisp.
As with their other book, this is not purely a visual feast – although that’s a big part of it. Also included are interviews with key people in the industry. This includes developers, of course, but interestingly game journalists of the era are also invited to share their piece. Readers don’t require a love of this developer in order to enjoy reading, but those who will get the most out of it are certainly Sensible Software fans. Interested parties across the globe can pick up a hardcopy of the book, although there’s apparently no ebook planned for either by Read-Only Memory.
The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers – Purchase here
Video games are a worldwide obsession and have been for many years now. However, for most English-speaking gamers, they’ve never had the chance to hear about the development of some of their favorite retro titles due to their Japanese origins. The Untold History of Japanese Game Developers looks to solve this issue by sharing a tremendous amount of interviews with game artists, developers, musicians, and more. Instead of just allowing modern fans to take Wikipedia articles and rumors as truth this book attempts to solve mysteries, reveal secrets, and lay old rumors to rest.
It’s an incredibly intriguing look at video game development in Japan and is over 1,000 pages in all. Amazingly, even this huge size wasn’t enough to hold all the content! A second volume is currently in the works and that one is sure to be brimming with content as well. If you feel that a massive tome is too much to carry around then thankfully you can nab an ebook copy instead. Of course, if you purchase the physical book at Amazon they’ll provide you with an ebook copy free of charge!
There you have a great selection of crowdfunded video game books to read and enjoy! Looking for even more worthwhile reads? As of right now there are already three crowdfunded book projects still underway: Commodore Amiga: a visual Commpendium, Hints & Tips for Videogame Pioneers, and Wrestling with Pixels: The World Tour of Wrestling Games. Heck, even a campaign which didn’t begin as a book – The Vanamo Online Game Museum – has a book spin off in the works now! It’s a very exciting time to be a gaming or crowdfunding fan as well as a book lover. Just make sure your wallet can handle all these prospective (but totally excellent) purchases.
If none of these existing or upcoming projects float your boat don’t lose hope just yet. Every month there are always new campaigns coming about and if your favorite console, era, or developer wasn’t covered chances are they will be in the future. After all, there are zillions of gaming fans out there and many share the same passions as you. Do you still feel as though the topic you love most simply won’t be covered in the perfect way possible? Perhaps if you’re devoted enough then you may create the next book crowdfunding campaign we cover!
[author image=”http://cliqist.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/01/marcus.jpg”]Marcus is a fellow with a love for video games, horror, and Japanese food. When he’s not writing about games for a multitude of sites, he’s usually still playing one. One day when he became fed up with the way sites would ignore niche titles he decided to start his own site by the name of Pixel Pacas. Writing about video games is something he hopes to continue doing for many years to come. Some of Marcus’s favorite games include Silent Hill 2, Killer7, and The Sims. [/author]